Intel Acquires McAfee for $7.68 Billion

McAfeeIn an interesting move, Intel has announced that it will be buying the security software firm McAfee for $7.68 billion. This acquisition comes close on the heels of McAfee’s acquisition of tenCube – the developer of WaveSecure.

At first glance this might appear to be a strange acquisition, given that Intel is mainly a hardware manufacturer, whereas McAfee is a software developer. However, as Intel goes on to explain in the following statement, McAfee will help Intel in its goal of providing on-chip security.

The acquisition reflects that security is now a fundamental component of online computing. Today’s security approach does not fully address the billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as the accompanying surge in cyber threats. Providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services.

The price offered by Intel amounts to $48 per share, which is a 60% premium on the value of McAfee’s stock. Intel obviously wants McAfee pretty desperately, since McAfee hasn’t traded at the quoted price since 1999. The acquisition will make McAfee a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel and is expected to be finalized after shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other customary conditions specified in the agreement.

ebay Begins Offering Cashback On Purchases Made Using PayPal

Yesterday, eBay announced the launch of its new cashback program – eBay Bucks. The first of its kind initiative from the online shopping giant will offer 2% cashback on most purchases made on eBay using PayPal. Purchases which are not included in this rewards program include Classifieds, Business & Industrial Capital Equipment, Real Estate, and eBay Motors.


Enrolled customers will earn eBay Bucks for all eligible purchases. At the end of each three month period, the collected reward points will be converted into eBay Bucks certificates, which can then be used for future eBay purchases. However, eBay has put in place quite a few restrictions to . Some of them are:

  • This offer is only available to adult US residents.
  • You cannot earn more than $200 in cashback from a single purchase.
  • You cannot earn more than $500 in a calendar quarter.
  • Each certificate must be redeemed within 30 days.

Users with an US eBay account can enroll themselves over here.

Indian Government Gets Ready To Ban Blackberry

RIM Last month, we reported that the Indian government was threatening to ban Blackberry along with a host of other services like Gmail and Skype. Reuters is now reporting that, the government of India of India will meet with telecom operators tomorrow to seek concrete measures.

Like Saudi Arabia, India also wants instant access to encrypted messages sent using Blackberry devices, which were reportedly used by terrorists in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Similar demands have also been made by United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Germany. In fact, the Indian government had also made similar demands in 2008.

RIM’s recent decision to grant the Saudi government access to local servers, will undoubtedly encourage the Indian government to take a stronger stance. At tomorrow’s meeting, the Indian government might issue a deadline for RIM to comply with the demands. In case the Indian government goes through the ban, RIM stands to lose 1 million subscribers in a country where the iPhone is still struggling to make an impact.

Mark Hurd: Loved By Shareholders, Hated By Employees

Mark Hurd is widely regarded as a successful CEO, thanks to his role in reviving HP after the tumultuous reign of Carly Fiorina. His aggressive measures tripled HP’s profits and succeeded in making HP the leading PC and laptop manufacturer in the world. During his tenure, HP also surpassed IBM as the world’s largest technology company. Naturally, when the news of his resignation broke, a sizable section of the Silicon Valley, including the likes of the Oracle CEO, were sympathetic towards Hurd. However, while Hurd might have the support of a section of the shareholders and journalists, he is receiving little solidarity back home.


According to the figures provided by Glassdoor to TechCrunch, Hurd was in fact, one of the most unpopular CEOs in the US. His aggressive cost-cutting drive meant that he had a mere 36% approval rating. A disgruntled former HP employee has already dubbed him as a thug and revealed that he was nicknamed as Mark Turd by ex-HP employees. Here’s an excerpt from the HP Phenomenon blog:

This guy was a thug, nicknamed Mark Turd by ex-HPites who worked directly for him — stories that have circulated in the Valley for three years. He raped HP employees (figuratively, without violating the sexual conduct code at HP) by eliminating the sixty-five year concept of profit sharing, preferring to move to obscene bonuses for himself and his five top minions — a mere $113 million payout for them in a year he chopped everyone else’s pay by 5% plus profit-sharing. These were raises for some of the five people by as much as 400% — a tidy uptick.

He was profane, a bully, autocratic, threatening, demeaning, vindictive, and rude. Blogs over the weekend by current employees said “Hooray, the tyrant is gone!” I couldn’t contain my glee on the 11pm news — best news for HP in a very long time!

Reports suggest that HP’s board was advised by the PR firm APCO to take the moral high ground in order to avoid public scrutiny. Unfortunately, by forcing Hurd’s hand, HP has opened themselves up to the same glaring media headlines it had hoped to avoid. Even as pundits continue to debate the morality and the rationality behind the board’s decision, HP’s stock has shed 8.67% of its value since last Friday, and long term investors are beginning to feel itchy.

HP CEO Resigns Following Sexual Harassment Allegation

Mark-HurdHP CEO Mark Hurd resigned yesterday after an investigation revealed that he had failed to disclose a personal relationship with a contractor. HP’s current CFO, Cathie Lesjak, has been appointed as an interim CEO to fill the void left by Hurd.

“Hurd’s decision was made following an investigation by outside legal counsel and the General Counsel’s Office, overseen by the Board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a claim of sexual harassment against Hurd and HP by a former contractor to HP”, read an official statement from the company. Although the investigation cleared Hurd of the sexual harassment charges, it found him in violation of Hewlett-Packard’s standard of business conduct.

This is obviously a big setback to the personal computing giant. Although Hurd has been criticized in the past for some of his actions, he is generally considered to be a successful CEO who managed to revive the company’s fortunes. The news of the scandal sent HP’s stocks plummeting by 10%.

Google Multi Account Sign-In Feature Limited To 3 Accounts

Google recently made available a very useful feature called Multi Account Sign-in to its users, though this feature is very useful, currently it is limited to only 3 Google Accounts.

Google 3 Account Multi Sign-in Limit

If you try to sign in to more than 3 accounts with the Google Multi Account Sign-in Feature enabled, you will see an error message similar to the one in the image above. The error message says:

You are already signed in to the maximum number of accounts. If you want to use another account you must sign out of all Google Accounts then sign in to the account you want.

So, currently to make use of different accounts, you will first have to sign out of one or all of the Google Accounts you are currently signed in into and then sign-in to the account you want to check. Though this is a minor constraint, it would definitely be good if Google would allow users to access around 5-7 accounts at once.

I know many users who have around 5 accounts minimum for various purposes. In addition to that, it would also be good if Google allowed users to sign-in with Google Apps accounts too.

Google Wave Crashes: Gets Killed Over Lack of User Interest

Google-WaveRemember Google Wave? The product that many of us thought would change the way we communicate, forever. Sadly, a little more than a year after it was first announced, Google has decided to pull the plug on Wave.

Wave was one of the most hyped web services in recent history. The artificially created scarcity of invites even prompted many to shell our hefty cash for invites to an essentially free service.

I still believe that Wave deserved all the attention it received. It truly was a revolutionary service. Unfortunately, Wave might have been too different for its own good. Many failed to grasp the concept of Wave and struggled to get started, while several others grew frustrated with the chaotic nature of an open ended communication platform like Wave.

Earlier today, Urs Hölzle, senior VP of operations and Google Fellow at Google, acknowledged in a blog post that Wave has not seen the user adoption Google would have liked. As a result of the lack of interest surrounding Wave, Google has decided to pull the plug. Although the standalone service will be available til (at least) the end of the year, Google will not be developing Wave as a product any further.

Over the past few years, Google has tried and failed repeatedly at making inroads into the social web. While Google was busy dealing with one failed product launch after another, Facebook went from strength to strength and is now in a position to dominate not only the social web, but also the web in general. At this point of time, Facebook is quite possibly the biggest threat to Google, and Google knows it. The closure of Wave demonstrates that Google is looking to cut its losses and focus on the impending launch of its new social network – Google Me. Make no mistake, Google Me might be Google’s last chance to fight back. If it fails again, it might be too late to stop Facebook.

Trillian 5 Beta Released: Beauty Meets Functionality

Last month, I had previewed Trillian 5, a major update to the popular multi-protocol instant messaging and social networking tool. On paper Trillian 5 appeared to be a stunning update to one of the most powerful instant messengers out there. Now that the public beta has been finally released, I can confirm that Trillian 5 lives up to the expectations.


As always Trillian is packed to the brim with features. However, unlike before, it doesn’t feel congested or bloated. The UI is sleek, intuitive and gorgeous. Trillian 5 supports Twitter, Facebook as well as LinkedIn in addition to Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, AIM, Skype and E-mail. Future beta builds will also introduce cloud syncing for chat history, so that you can access your social graph on the move.

For a more comprehensive look at the new features in Trillian 5 check our earlier coverage. Trillian 5 Beta can be downloaded from

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Activation Technologies Already Cracked

Windows-7 You have probably heard by now that Windows 7 Service Pack 1 includes the anti-piracy update (KB971033) that was released earlier this year. However, it appears that Windows 7 is still as crackable as before.

The original WAT update killed more than 70 cracks available for Microsoft’s newest desktop operating system and promised to kill any new cracks that cropped up through signature updates. Although Microsoft succeeded in nixing several loaders that misused OEM SLP keys, many others managed to find a work around.

The Windows 7 SP1 beta has just been released, and crackers have already updated their loaders to bypass the new security measures. In the perennial cat and mouse game between Microsoft and the crackers, crackers have once again outsmarted Microsoft. However, the first service pack for Windows 7 is scheduled for the first half of next year. The Redmond based PC giant still has plenty of time to update the WAT tool’s signature and bounce back.

PayPal Re-enables Electronic Withdrawal Service in India

PayPal India has built quite a reputation for pulling nasty surprises out of the blue. Three days back, they suspended indefinitely electronic withdrawal services or direct deposits in India. The good news is that something changed, and PayPal has re-enabled the crucial electronic withdrawal services.


As always, PayPal’s official announcement offers little explanation and simply apologizes for any inconvenience. “We want you to know that our customers are our #1 priority and we are working non-stop to improve our service to you”, wrote Dickson Seow from PayPal’s Corporate Communications team. The previously announced $5 refund for cheque withdrawals will also be continued for Indian users.

Needless to say, these out of the blue jolts have seriously damaged PayPal’s reputation. It’s hard to imagine PayPal being happy with the current situation either. Although we don’t know what caused the latest flip-flop, I will be surprised if the Indian government and regulatory bodies didn’t have a hand to play.